Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One was the first experiment in the venture of a multiplayer Ratchet and Clank game. This was a co-op game that allowed 4 players to team up together and play in a Ratchet & Clank platforming adventure. This game was fun though it was found to be lacking since sharing a single screen just made the game too clunky because you had little control over the camera. The experiment continues with yet another multiplayer heavy Ratchet & Clank game with Full Frontal Assault. This is a greater departure than All 4 One as it uses whole new style of play while still maintaining most of the traditional Ratchet & Clank mechanics. Does this experiment work better than the last or is it back to the drawing board when it comes to a multiplayer Ratchet & Clank Full Frontal Assault?
Full Frontal Assault is a budget game and it shows by its lack of content though I’m jumping ahead of myself there. This game plays like your average Ratchet and Clank game, but with the addition multiplayer but also with an extra twist. This twist is something that if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed Revelations before you can guess what’s coming, that’s the addition Tower Defense mechanics. For the campaign you’re given a base which you must defend and while defending against different waves of enemy attacks you must find different shield generators and disable them and finally head to planet defense center and reactivate the planet’s defenses after which you defend your base against a barrage of enemies until the mission is over and the enemy has been defeated. This mode is relatively short as you only have a handful of levels/planets to play through with a paper thin story to go with it. The tower defense mechanics is mostly about you staying in your base when the computer warns your base is going to be attacked and then attacking the objectives between these waves. The actual defense you can build are worthless and do very little to slow down the enemies so it’s up to you to do most of the work. The levels do have items and weapons scattered throughout the level as well as money to pay for upgrades and repairs within your base. There is a co-op mode though the local split-screen mode makes for an odd playing experience where everything feels cramped. Overall the single player is a disappointing and short distraction.
There is also a multiplayer mode that takes some of the mechanics of the single player and then turns it into a competitive multiplayer mode. The game neatly sorts the game into 3 different phases, recon, squad and assault. Within the recon phase there is an assortment of points to capture, once successfully captured you can build up defenses for any given point such as putting forcefields, hiring AI friends to defend it and building defense turrets. What these points get you is weapons for your character and a constant stream of cash for each point that you control. Once you’ve successfully or unsuccessfully captured the points next comes the squad phase where you do all the upgrades for your base or character, buy any defense turrets you need and recruit squads using money to attack the enemies base, finally is the assault phase where each teams squads are sent to the opposition which you must fend off each other assault while hoping your own squad is successful. This process will repeat until someone is victorious. The multiplayer can be played 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 (though unlike the campaign split screen is not supported). Overall it’s a step up from the campaign though still relatively uninteresting, the only true excitement happens during the first recon phase and I would have liked it if teams had at least 3 players to make these portions even more exciting. Overall the multiplayer is step up from the single player but not a major one.
The sound and music is exactly like every other installment of the Ratchet and Clank series on the PS3 with little change being made. That’s not to say this is a negative as this has always been a solid aspect of every title. The voice acting, what little of that there is is well done. The visuals can have the same be said as the sound that it looks just as good as it’s ever had but nothing has been improved or changed to the status quo.
Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is a budget title that truly shows with the very small amount of content that is available for you to experience. While even at the $20 MSRP I find it a bit expensive for how little playtime you’ll get out of this. If you’re looking for the best possible Ratchet & Clank purchase from 2012 then I’d go with the Ratchet & Clank collection that looks great on the PS3 and a no-brainer if you haven’t played these PS2 classic titles.